Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine highly protective in 12-18 age group: US CDC study

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was 93 per cent effective in preventing hospitalisations among those aged 12 to 18, according to an analysis released by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday (Oct 19).

The study was conducted between June and September, when the extremely contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus was predominant.

Yet, the data from 19 paediatric hospitals showed that among the 179 patients who were hospitalised for Covid-19, 97 per cent were unvaccinated, providing reassurance of the vaccine’s efficacy.

Of the roughly 16 per cent of patients hospitalised with severe enough Covid-19 to require life support, none were vaccinated.

The CDC report builds on trials done by the companies in this age group that showed high immune response against the virus, but which were not designed to demonstrate efficacy against hospitalisation.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is authorised for children as young as 12, and the companies are seeking authorisation for use in those as young as five years of age.

A panel of experts advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration are expected to weigh in on data on young children later this month.

The CDC data “reinforces the importance of vaccination to protect US youths against severe Covid-19,” the study authors said.

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